Former top-level D.C. agricultural economists to speak at James C. Snyder Memorial event

WEST LAFAYETTE – Ted McKinney, Matt Erickson, Rob Johansson, and Joe Balagtas, all former government economists who recently served in Washington, D.C., will participate in a panel discussion at the 2021 James C. Snyder Memorial event, presented by the Purdue University Department of Agricultural Economics.

The panel will be held virtually at 1:30 p.m. on April 16.

McKinney served as the first U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs from 2017-21. Erickson was chief economist for the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry from 2015-21; he currently is agricultural economic and policy advisor for Farm Credit Services of America and Frontier Farm Credit. Johansson was chief economist for the Department of Agriculture from 2015-21 and now serves as associate director of economics and policy analysis for the American Sugar Alliance. Balagtas was senior economist for the White House Council of Economic Advisors from 2019-20 and is currently an associate professor of agricultural economics at Purdue.

Jayson Lusk, distinguished professor and department head of agricultural economics at Purdue, will lead the panel. Panelists will be asked about their experiences in Washington D.C., the challenges they faced, their views on what worked and what did not, and what changes that might be expected from the new administration and party in control of Congress. 

The economists join a list of respected leaders in agricultural business and economics who have been guest speakers for the James C. Snyder Memorial event. The Department of Agricultural Economics’ signature annual event was established in 1975 in honor of James C. Snyder, who served as a professor and researcher in agricultural economics at Purdue.

For more information about the event, visit the James C. Snyder Memorial website or contact Tracy Buck at, 765-494-4191.

Information by Kami Goodwin,